Salt River Engagement Session - Andrea & Gabe

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Arizona Elopement Photographer - Salt River Adventure

Engagement Session


Andrea and Gabe came all the way from South Florida for their engagement session here in the desert! Okay, only exaggerating a little, lol! These two were visiting family in Scottsdale and thought it would be the perfect time and place for their engagement photos. Boy oh boy, did they time it just right?! The wild flowers were in full bloom on this beautiful day by the Salt River.

During our session our big world shrunk a little bit as we conversed about places to have a good meal in South Florida and epic places to hike and camp around Florida. I moved to Arizona just a little over a year ago from West Palm Beach and this adorable duo is based out of Delray Beach just a short skip down the road! I was pretty excited to finally meet someone else who has enjoyed camping at Payne’s Prairie in Florida where you can see all sorts of wild life like bison and wild horses. We were hoping to see the wild horses here at the Salt River, but they did not show their presence this go around, but we did have the most gorgeous sunset! Gabe and Andrea are such a fun loving adventurous couple! I loved hearing their memories about driving all the way from Florida to Denver, even after an 18 hour drive there wasn’t time for naps it, was straight to exploring the town. Or their shark sightings in South Beach and rushing escape! Andrea has explored many of the National Parks with her family and some with Gabe. We actually share the same FAVORITE National Park, Olympic National Park! Not only are they I am sure their future holds a lot great views, more wild animal encounters and a whole lot of love.


So you may be wondering how to plan an engagement session from on the other side of the United States!

Step One: Hire a Photographer

Andrea and Gabe had already hired their Saint Augustine wedding photographer. They knew they wanted to do their engagement photos out here so they reached out to them for recommendations. The photographer community is pretty connected on Facebook groups and through Instagram. I recommend not going into the search alone if you’ve already hired a wedding photographer so they can help you find someone with similar style and they can most likely find you someone in the general location, within budget and someone trusted through their connections. If you are going at it alone search Instagram just like google by going to search and typing something like “arizona engagement” or “#azengagementphotographer.” You can also use Google!!

Step Two: Selecting a Location

Once you have had hired your photographer they most likely will be able to help you through the planning process. Be sure to tell them you are coming from out of town! Arizona has SO many places that make for a perfect engagement session location. This is true for a lot of places you may be traveling to. So, how do you pick a spot?! Consider your travel plans like location, timing and budget. If you’re staying with family in the Phoenix region for only a short time you may not want to make the drive up to Sedona or Page for an engagement session so now you know what general area to be in. Ask the photographer for their suggestions in this area. You can google the areas to see photos of it or ask them for sample galleries from sessions they have had in these location suggestions. There a lot of things that go into selecting just the right place for any elopement or engagement session out of town or not, but communicate with your photographer they can work through all of this with you!!

Step Three: Pack and Head Out!

You may be visiting a different climate than where you will be coming from. Be sure to check the weather, but be prepared for it change! Head to Pinterest for outfit inspiration or ask your photographer about colors that may go well with the surroundings of the location you have selected. Always double check your travel plans and make sure you have everything you need for boarding planes or renting cars! I always recommend my clients to NOT book their session the same day as travel in case any flights are delayed or anything unexpected happens. This is great too so you can adjust to any new weather, time changes or elevation gain.

Step Four: It’s Shoot time!

For sessions here in the desert when I have clients coming from out of time I always email them and remind them to drink lots and lots of water. At the session I remind my spring and summer clients from out of town to keep an eye and ear out for rattle snakes. Different states, countries and climates have different things you want to be aware of just to ensure the best session experience. Another example would be if you’re coming from Florida to Colorado be prepared for elevation sickness, just in case! Being in a new place also means you may not know the area or how to get around the best. A lot of places I photograph adventure sessions at there is not any cell service. Be sure you have the exact address or coordinates to your session location, look it up on google, share screen shots with your photographer so you know you have the same location on your maps and describe your cars to each other so you can find each other without service. Most importantly, have fun!!! Enjoy your adventure with each other :)


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Andrea’s hair and make-up was done by the fabulous Seventh Ave Beauty!

This session has been featured by Wandering Weddings to check it out click HERE.